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stress eating

Let’s talk about stress eating and dealing with food triggers.

Those of us who chose to have bariatric surgery usually come from a past of stress eating and yo-yo dieting. After having surgery we need to learn how to deal with stressful situations without turning to food for comfort.

A lot of us know what we should be doing but can’t seem to do it. Or worse, we choose a behavior that takes us in the complete opposite direction of our goal, without a second thought.

Here are five tips to help deal with stress eating. But, do this exercise now before a trigger sets you off. Don’t wait to do this until you are in the middle of a stress eating event.

1. Know Your Triggers
Identify the feelings and circumstances that trigger you to look for comfort with food. Then write down those triggers along with the food you crave during those moments of weakness.

2. Write What You Think
Right after creating your list, write down the things you commonly think of when those feelings are triggered. For example, if a feeling of stress is a trigger for craving a cookie, write down why you think the cookie helps to relieve your stress. Be honest with yourself and be as detailed as you can. What are you thinking during that triggered event?

3. Pay Close Attention to Your Thoughts
After creating your list of triggers and thoughts, it’s time to make a plan of action. Look at your list and create a positive statement for each of the feelings you have described. Think of a pleasurable situation which is the complete opposite of the thoughts related to the trigger feelings. Write these statements out on another piece of paper and keep it handy to refer to when you feel a stressful situation approaching.

4. Remove All Trigger Foods from Your Environment
If the trigger foods are not around, it is much harder to indulge with them. Keep healthier foods in your environment that can be an alternative. Plan and prepare for when you are home, work or anywhere a trigger event could occur.

5. Change Your Routine
Another way to help avoid trigger events is to change your routine. Certain activities by themselves can be a trigger. Avoid doing activities that lead to triggers and mindless eating. Find something new to do instead. Create a whole new life for yourself that doesn’t revolve around food, like our old way of living did.

Removing this kind of behavior is not easy but it can be done. Use these tips to help you change the cycle of stress eating in your life. You Can Do This!

Remember – Believe In Yourself, Keep Your Vision Alive, and Take Action Every Day.

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